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Book: Clearing the Tangled Wood - Poetry As a Way of Seeing the World by James Lawless

Book: Clearing the Tangled Wood - Poetry As a Way of Seeing the World by James Lawless

star rating  4.7 stars based on the 3 most helpful Amazon reviews
categories: Book, Creativity, Translation, Language, Literature, Seeing, The Irrational, Global Study, Poetry Religion, New Angles, Modern Man, Seeking Meaning, Poetry

James Lawless

Author James Lawlessabout this book: Man is more irrational than rational. Literal language fails to recognise this fully. Poetry, however, because of its different grammar and anarchic qualities, is capable of addressing this aspect of our lives. By offering an alternative way of seeing the world, it affords deeper insights into reality, and it helps us to see "as other". To enter the world of poetry, one must heighten one's state of consciousness, and surrender to its methods of observation. Suggestions on how to achieve this state are given in this work, and the process of creativity itself is discussed. Influences of other disciplines and texts are demarcated, and the evolution of poetry from oral to written to visual form is delineated. Examples are given of how poetry illuminates our ordinary, ideological and technological worlds. Some attention is also given to an examination of the role of the poet in society. Extracts from the works of various contemporary poets are cited, including a chapter on modern Irish poetry. However, in order to illustrate more fully the semantic, psychological and aesthetic enrichment which can be derived from poetry, and in an attempt to steer away  even if temporarily  from the hegemony of English, the poetry of three non-English poets (Salinas, Lorca and Pasternak) is appraised in some detail. This work concludes with a vindication of the value of poetry in the twenty first century, not only as an art form in itself, but also as an essential, interpretative tool in a fragmented world.


• "A linguistic ballet, learned and lively on behalf of poetry." — John Montague

• "A thrilling sequence of revelations." — Brendan Kennelly

• "Clearing the Tangled Wood is as much a masterwork of poetic imagination as of scholarly precision." — Ronald M. Mazur, professor of European Languages and Linguistics, Winona State University.

Translated into Italian and Portuguese.

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